The year started on a promising note. But that was before the Russians invaded Ukraine when things started going into a downward spiral. Economies and businesses suffered major setbacks as inflation skyrocketed, gas prices went sky high and demand for goods and services went down.
As the year progressed, things started getting better. The world learnt to live with the events and businesses bounced back by doubling technology investments. Even as businesses were adopting a digital-first and mobile first strategy, the pandemic induced disruptions forced business continuity strategies to take precedence.
Post pandemic economic and geo-political instabilities forced the choice of technology adoption. This included business imperatives to efficiently manage supply chain, increase operational efficiencies, enhanced transparency and achieve cost reductions.
Add most importantly to manage risks and compliance, more specifically the looming threat of cyber security. So what were some of the technologies businesses adopted during 2022. Here is our take.
Cyber Security: Cyber security took center stage with ransomware touching an all-time high and cyber security has become a moving goal post. Even as businesses strengthen security approaches with new technologies and systems, criminals are finding ways to breach the organization’s defense systems. 65% of surveyed organizations experienced increased cyberattack attempts and 49% organizations experiencing a data breach since the pandemic began. In the last year alone, the number of estimated password attacks per second increased by 74%, according to Microsoft Digital Defence Report 2022.
Critical national infrastructure (CNI) have become the targets of state actors and advanced persistent threat groups, and attacks targeting CNI have leapt from 20% of all nation-state attacks to 40%, according to data drawn from Microsoft’s telemetry, according to Redmond’s third annual Microsoft digital defence report.
Consequently, the role of CISO and security teams have catapulted from the fringe of the IT departments to the front and center of the organization. Gartner expects to see a shift in formal accountability for the treatment of cyber risks from the security leader to senior business leaders, and by 2026, 50% of C-level executives will have performance requirements related to risk built into the employment contracts.
Best in class SAP enterprises are countering cyber security threats with zero trust approaches which is facilitated in SAP Cloud with best practices and architectural design principles.
Process Automation: Spurred by a digital-first strategy, process automation has become a foundational initiative for business transformation. Because automation must be accompanied by process re-engineering, businesses are embedding process automation to weed out inefficiencies and free employees from repetitive work to focus on higher cognitive roles which require empathy when dealing with customers or judgement intensive applications. The average return on investment has more than doubled to 6.8x, illustrating that automation is a worthwhile and dependable investment even in times of economic austerity, according to Automation Now and Next.
Much of the implementations were necessitated by Covid-induced disruptions. However, post pandemic these measures are helping businesses to reap efficiencies of scale, enhanced productivity and higher transparency which is further fueling adoption across more business processes.
Automation is helping address supply chain issues and staffing shortages enabling businesses to continue delivering great customer experiences amid ongoing disruption. More organizations see automation as a core component of ongoing business operations with Cloud adoption accelerating automation deployments and empowering citizen developers.
Organizations are maturing in the deploying approaches with an increased realization that transformational benefits will accrue only with an enterprise-wide strategy. The key trends influencing automation growth include centralized operations for replicable and defined frameworks for enterprise-wide automation adoption and scalability. As more functional activities across front-and back-office functions are getting automated, organizations are increasing the budgets for automation to scale faster and realize the benefits to meet automation and digital transformation goals.
SAP Build Process Automation is a simple and fast way to automate workflow and tasks with simple drag and drop features. The platform enables to digitize workflow, implement RPA and embed AI within the workflow.
Hybrid Cloud: Businesses are betting big on Clouds and deploying complex workloads at scale. There is significant maturity and customers are selecting different Cloud platforms to achieve specific business objectives. This includes exploring colocation, private Cloud, and multiple public Cloud to take advantage of the benefits offered in specific deployment environment. Adopting hybrid Cloud is enabling organizations to embrace a best-of-breed approach to meet specific business goals—a right blend of speed, flexibility, scalability, and reliability while meeting data security, governance, compliance, performance issues in a cost-effective manner.
According to Global Hybrid Cloud Trends 2022, 82% of IT leaders say that they have adopted the hybrid cloud. Additionally, nearly half (47%), are deploying between two to three public IaaS (infrastructure as a service) clouds.
The need for agility and business responsiveness is a primary cause of hybrid Cloud adoption with (57%) of those in networking roles saying that DevOps is a critical piece of deploying hybrid cloud since it can help strike a middle ground between existing and new applications.
Hybrid Cloud is giving rise to operational complexities amongst 35% of the respondents with security concerns a high priority amongst 37%. And so, 58% are adopting infrastructure as a and 44% cloud-native technologies to improve the security posture.
Hybrid architectures are quite common in SAP environment and many SAP customers are moving to the cloud in a phase manner.
AIML: Adoption of Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning (AIML) progressed steadily and has reached a turning point with wide spread usage of virtual assistants and embedded processes in some industries and countries. High performing organization are now employing AI at scale and AI high performers are 1.6 times more likely than other organizations to engage nontechnical employees in creating AI applications using low code no code platforms.
Even as AI is rapidly providing new benefits and efficiencies to organizations around the world through new automation capabilities, greater ease of use and accessibility, the year witnessed a wider variety of established use cases, specially in drug discovery, creating hyper-personalization experiences and digital twins to help predict scenarios. As deployment pervades, the challenge is to ensure AIML models are devoid of bias and new practices such as MLOps are becoming popular to smoothen the next level of deployment challenge.
IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2022 finds that 35% of companies reported using AI in their business, and an additional 42% reported they are exploring AI. Around half of organizations are seeing benefits from using AI to automate IT, business or network processes, including cost savings and efficiencies (54%), improvements in IT or network performance (53%), and better experiences for customers (48%).
However, the major barrier to AI adoption is the shortage of talent pool, threatening to slow down adoption. Majority are faced with difficulty in hiring particularly hiring AI data scientists and most companies are now looking at upskilling internal employees via experiential learning, online courses and certification.
SAP has embedded AI into its product portfolio enabling customers to intelligently digitally trace CX, digital supply chain, manage manufacturing across different sites and perform many other business activities.
Metaverse: Metaverse continued to dominate conversations and mindshare during the year although adoption on the ground level was limited. Overall metaverse is still in infancy but as more use cases and business outcomes become clear, the value of metaverse is getting appreciated.
Widescale adoption of metaverse technologies is still far away, yet organizations are harnessing them in many practical ways, such as employee onboarding, sales enablement, higher education, medical and military training and immersive shopping experiences. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in metaverse. The good thing is that no single entity will monopolize the platform, so it opens up tremendous possibilities for all. SAP technologies has enabled many customers to implement metaverse solutions into the business functions enhancing the shopping experience, learning experiences and facilitate decision making in business scenarios such as better demand prediction, etc.
Gartner has outline six trends driving metaverse.
Gaming: By 2025, the serious games market will grow by 25% due to metaverse technologies.
Digital humans: Majority of B2C enterprise CMOs will have a dedicated budget for digital humans in metaverse experiences by 2027.
Virtual Spaces: 10% workers will regularly use virtual spaces in activities such as sales, onboarding, remote teams by 2025, up from 1% in 2022.
Shared Experiences: By 2028, 10% public events such as sports and performing arts will offer participation in metaverse, fueling rapid buildout of commercial metaverse shared experiences.
Tokenized Assets: At least 25% retail organizations with an e-commerce presence will have at least one proof of concept for tokenized assets using metaverse technologies by 2027.
Most of the above technology trends will continue its march in the coming year. Cyber security will continue to grab headlines as organized hacking syndicates flourish with democratized access to tools and technologies. Security will no longer be confined to the CISOs office and become a regular boardroom discussion, even as more CEO compensation gets tied to managing risks including cyber security.
Sustainability is fast becoming the new headline and 2023 will see increasingly more thoughtful business and technology initiatives rolled out to assist companies, people and the world’s quest for sustainable living and working conditions.
As a leading SAP partner, we have implemented many of the above solutions in the SAP environment. If you want to know more about these solutions, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org